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Friday, February 25, 2011

Imperial County Clerk Wants to Defend Prop 8 Appeal

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Hold the cake.
  • Hold the cake.

Imperial County Clerk Chuck Storey is attempting to sign onto the legal challenge to Judge Vaughn Walker's decision last year that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. 

Storey submitted a brief today to the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco asking for the ability to defend Prop. 8 in the appeal. What does it matter that a paper-pusher you've never heard of is trying to join Prop. 8's sponsors in their appeal?

Possibly, a lot. 

Right now, the California Supreme Court is considering whether state law allows Prop. 8 sponsors the right -- or "standing" -- to challenge the decision of the federal district court decision without having a government official on their side. Both Gov. Jerry Brown and current Attorney General Kamala Harris have decided not to join forces with the Prop. 8 advocates. 

Last month, the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit turned away the Imperial County deputy clerk from joining the appeal.  But now comes Storey, the newly elected county clerk from the agricultural county along the Mexican border east of San Diego, to try again. 

"You give people a long enough time and money and they'll produce a body, and that's what they've done," said Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign.

"Imperial is one of the smaller and more conservative [counties]," adds Todd Stenhouse, spokesman for the Courage Campaign. "It's not like you have the county clerk from Los Angeles, Sacramento, or San Francisco County. You have someone from out in the middle of the nowhere of Imperial County. You have this one small county. Where's everybody else [to support Prop. 8]? There's nobody else."   

Storey's attorneys did not return a message on Friday. But Storey argues in his brief that, as the county official in charge of issuing marriage licenses, he has the right to challenge the court decision. He argued that that Judge Walker's decision leaves him with "legal conflicts and ambiguity in the performance of his official duties." 

In a statement, Storey said, "I took an oath of office to uphold the California Constitution, and Proposition 8 is part of the Constitution."

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Lauren Smiley


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